March 16, 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Germany’s parliament favors Merkel’s anti-Israel U.N. voting pattern

March 16, 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Germany’s parliament favors Merkel’s anti-Israel U.N. voting pattern

Political representatives in Germany’s Bundestag overwhelmingly rejected a resolution by the Free Democratic Party to urge Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to reverse its anti-Israel voting record at the United Nations.

The Free Democratic Party (FDP) MPS Bijan Djir-Sarai and Frank Müller-Rosentritt introduced the pro-Israel resolution calling on the federal government “in the bodies and specialized agencies of the United Nations (such as the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council or UNESCO) to dissociate from unilateral, primarily politically motivated initiatives and alliances of anti-Israeli Member States, and protect Israel and legitimate Israeli interests from unilateral condemnation.”

The resolution, which was reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, said that Merkel’s administration should seek to change its voting pattern in this context.

Merkel, who said in Israel in 2008 that its security is “non-negotiable” for her administration, voted with authoritarian regimes, like the Islamic Republic of Iran, 16 times in 2018 to condemn the Jewish state. Germany’s UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen and the country’s UN diplomats voted 16 times against Israel from a total of 21 anti-Israel resolutions in 2018. Germany abstained from four anti-Jewish state resolutions.

The vote in the Bundestag was from a total of 626 MPs participating. An eye-popping 408 voted to reject the pro-Israel resolution while 155 urged its acceptance. A total of 63 MPs abstained. The depth of anti-Israelism in the Bundestag sparked criticism from a tiny number of German politicians and journalists.

The FDP and the largely anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany, supported a reversal of Merkel’s anti-Israel voting record at the UN.

The Social Democrats, the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Democratic Party, The Left Party, and the Green Party lined up behind targeting Israel for punishment at the UN. The Green Party abstained, but German critics viewed the abstention as a cowardly escape hatch.

FDP MP Nicola Beer wrote on Twitter, “While Hamas is firing rockets at Israel, #Bundestag votes against #GroKo & Left with abstention from the Greens against a request for reorientation of German #Israel | politics in #UN. It’s embarrassing.”GroKo is an abbreviation for Merkel’s coalition government of Social Democrats and Christian parties.

Green Party politician Volker Beck wrote on his Twitter feed that “This was not a glorious chapter for foreign policy and national interests of the German Bundestag. And it will not be the last word. I am angry, also about my parliamentary group.”

When asked on Twitter why the Social Democratic politician Frank Schwabe voted against the pro-Israel resolution, he declined to answer. The Post also questioned the Christian Democratic Union MP Andreas Nick who declined to respond about his anti-Israel vote.

The German journalist and author, Alex Feuerherdt, who is an expert on the UN and Israel, wrote that the vote shows the lack of solidarity for the Jewish state in Germany.

“Dead Jews are always capable of solidarity in Germany, especially on days such as 9 November or 27 January,” he wrote. “The living and her state [Israel], on the other hand, are maximally in Sunday sermons, but not when it matters. What a lousy hypocrisy.”

The Israeli security and defense expert Arye (ARO) Sharuz Shalicar tweeted: “I was born in [Germany]. I grew up in Berlin. I have a German high school diploma. I even served in the armed services. But today I am ashamed of German politics!”

Benjamin Weinthal is a European correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Read in The Jerusalem Post


International Organizations Israel